Fall 2000

Photojournalism: Pondering the Power of Images and the Risks Taken by Those Who Make Them

James Nachtwey’s book “Inferno” is a collection of 382 photographs depicting the horrific brutality and suffering of people who are entrapped by war, famine or political unrest. Its publication offers an opportunity to reflect not only on his extraordinary and courageous career as a photojournalist but on how, in this time of visual onslaught, images such as these are absorbed and their messages acted upon.

Narrative Journalism
Introduction
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
Narrative Journalism Comes of Age
Some find it hard to accept. Others embrace it.
By Mark Kramer
Exploring Relationships Across Racial Lines
Narrative was the vehicle selected for this reporting journey.
By Gerald Boyd
The False Dichotomy and Narrative Journalism (1 comment)
‘Good writing and good reporting reinforce each other. Period.’
By Roy Peter Clark
The Verdict Is in the 112th Paragraph
In a narrative serial of a murder trial, news is differently defined.
By Thomas French
‘Just Write What Happened.’
Imposing a narrative structure doesn’t always work.
By William F. Woo
The State of Narrative Nonfiction Writing (3 comments)
Excerpt from a panel discussion moderated by Robert Vare
Talking About Narrative Journalism
A Panel of Journalists
‘Narrative Writing Looked Easy.’
It wasn’t, but with help the writer used French fries to explain Asia’s financial crisis.
By Richard Read
Narrative Journalism Goes Multimedia
On the Web, ‘Black Hawk Down’ enhanced its credibility and the readers’ experience.
By Mark Bowden
Weaving Storytelling Into Breaking News
‘A little bit of narrative, like sugar, just makes everything better.’
By Rick Bragg
The Perils of Lunch With Sharon Stone
When the Five W’s aren’t appetizing, some reporters stir in a bit of fiction.
By Anthony DeCurtis
Lulling Viewers Into a State of Complicity
‘The approach of a storyteller seemed more apt….’
By Ted Koppel
Sticky Storytelling
‘I want to create a pattern that is instinctively unfamiliar….’
By Robert Krulwich
Has the Camera’s Eye Replaced the Writer’s Descriptive Hand?
An editor laments the demise of the narrative. And welcomes its return.
Michael Kelly
Narrative Storytelling in a Drive-By Medium
A local television reporter finds ways to go beyond the usual coverage.
By Carolyn Mungo
Combining Narrative With Analysis
By grounding stories in a broader context, their messages are better understood.
By Laura Sessions Stepp
Literary Nonfiction Constructs a Narrative Foundation
In college classes, students read great storytellers and learn how to tell a story.
By Madeleine Blais
Me and the System: The Personal Essay and Health Policy
By Fitzhugh Mullan
Photojournalism
Introduction
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
James Nachtwey Photographs
By James Nachtwey
The Unbearable Weight of Witness
Vivid images of war and famine make human misery impossible to ignore.
By Michele McDonald
Photographers Can’t Hide Behind Their Cameras
Images of war are raw, dirty, ugly, personal and disturbing. And they ought to be.
By Steve Northup
Do Images of War Need Justification?
No. Imparting information ought to be enough.
By Philip Caputo
The Perils of Growing Comfortable With Evil
By Brent Staples
‘Basically We’re Alone. Left Up to Our Own Wits.’
War photographers describe what it’s like to do their jobs.
A Panel of War Photographers
Dying to Get the Story
A journalist reflects on which risks are necessary.
By Mary Kay Magistad
Journalists Learn How to Protect Themselves in War
A Panel of Instructors
Words & Reflections
Introduction
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
Questions Crime Reporters Sometimes Forget to Ask (2 comments)
In murder cases, the ‘easy story’ to report might be profoundly wrong.
By John Painter, Jr.
Dead Men Talking
Chicago Tribune reporters highlight fault lines in the justice system.
By Ken Armstrong
An Indictment of the Washington Press
Two journalists give thumbs down to coverage of the Clinton scandals.
By Michael Gartner
Harper’s Magazine: A Survivor!
By Robert Manning
Can Journalism Be Fair?
‘If truth is whatever works for you, there is no need for journalism.’
By Philip Meyer
Freelancers Confront New Challenges
In a contract battle, many argue their work shouldn’t be used for free.
By Anne Driscoll
International Journalism
Introduction
By Melissa Ludtke, Editor
Journalism in Transition in South Africa
For black journalists, the threat is their conscience.
By Mathatha Tsedu
A Story of Courage in South African Journalism (1 comment)
Blacks accepted the white-owned Rand Daily Mail as their champion.
By Dennis Cruywagen
In Zimbabwe, the Independent Press Struggles to Survive
Legal maneuvers and financial hard times challenge press freedom.
By David Karanja
Imprisonment and Torture of Journalists in Zimbabwe
Eventually the courts ruled the law that jailed them was unconstitutional.
By Mark G. Chavunduka
Lessons Learned in Africa
A reporter replays history so past mistakes don’t become future policy.
By Wilson Wanene
Top 10 Underreported Humanitarian Stories
Doctors Without Borders
From Darkness Into Blinding Glare
What does it take to get the press to shine its searchlight in distant places?
By Susan Moeller
Coverage of AIDS in Africa: The media are silent no longer.
By Susan Moeller
Coverage of AIDS in Africa: The media are silent no longer.
By Susan Moeller
Curator’s Corner
The Nieman Foundation’s Unfinished Business
By Bob Giles
Nieman Notes
Reading Between the Lions (1 comment)
By Judith Stoia
Howard Simons’ Legacy Lives On
Scholarships for minority journalism students bear his name.
By Marcia Slacum Greene